Buon giorno and welcome to A Road Retraveled!
Several years ago on a visit to Assisi during the Saint Francis Festival, two ladies I met in town recommended that I visit the little church of Santa Maria delle Rose, located just up the street across the more famous cathedral of San Rufino.
They wouldn’t tell me what was special about it…they simply said: “You have to see it for yourself”.
And so I went.
The church of Santa Maria delle Rose did not make the cut in travel guide books along with the other magnificent churches of Assisi. This humble ancient stone church is void of a decorative facade, it is simple, somber and unassuming….when you step inside everything changes.
That experience made its way into one of my earliest podcasts (Mary and the Peace March), as well as my introduction to MARIA by one of the knowledgeable docents who dedicate their time to welcome and inform visitors about the installation. Click on the image below to watch the early episode.
Surprisingly after the first video was published online, I received an email from the artist who created MARIA, Guido Dettoni della Grazia….a lovely nice email which I was very happy to receive and thrilled that he enjoyed watching the video. Soon after I also received an email from the composer Juan Carlos Garcia, who, also inspired by the installation and the sculpture, composed a CD dedicated to Maria: MARIA La Presencia Luminosa .
The enchanting sound of his music was my first introduction to Maria upon entering the church, and it did not fail in its promise of something special my eyes would meet once I turn the corner and the exhibition appeared before me. My reaction was that of awe, inspiration, sacredness, peace, serenity…. each individual has his or her personal reaction and experience upon visiting this unique church and being introduced to MARIA.
In this video you will discover another masterpiece by the artist, this time inspired by his time spent in Assisi: The symbol of Saint Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan movement, the TAO. A large sculpture made of wood is currently on display inside the church. Previously it was exhibited inside the San Francesco Basilica.
Recently in Assisi, several years after my first visit to Santa Maria delle Rose church, I had the pleasure to finally meet the artist himself and Guido was gracious to accept my invitation to allow me to create another video of the beautiful and inspiring Maria exhibition.
This time…..in the words of the artist himself.
For more information about Guido Dettoni della Grazia and MARIA: www.NESHER.org
For more information about Juan Carlos Garcia and MARIA La Presencia Luminosa CD: http://www.juancarlosgarciaweb.com/maria_frame.html